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Samaritan Marks 10 Years of Electronic Medical Record Use

A little more than a decade ago, Samaritan Health Services outpatient clinics used an electronic medical record, but it was not easily accessible by Samaritan’s hospitals. At the time, many hospital departments still kept records on paper. 

In March 2013, Samaritan adopted a system-wide electronic medical record – Epic. It was launched first at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center and the rest of Samaritan’s hospitals soon followed. A year later, outpatient clinics launched the Epic electronic medical record, giving health care teams and patients seamless access to health records across the whole Samaritan system. 

“We have learned a lot over the past 10 years,” said Jan Hull, director of Clinical Information Systems for Samaritan. “We have continued to improve the electronic medical record to better serve our patients.” 

Since that initial launch, Samaritan care teams have utilized Epic to maintain all patient care information and make it easily accessible to other teams across they system which includes five hospitals and more than 100 clinics. Over the years, Epic developments have contributed to improvements in patient care and outcomes, patient education, infection prevention, discharge planning, prescription refills, medication inventory, behavioral health plans for patients and much more. 

“Reaching the 10-year milestone with Epic is an incredible accomplishment,” said Chief Information Officer Sonney Sapra, MBA. “I am extremely proud of the Information Services team and our care providers for continually pushing us to make this critical application better and for working to grow how we use it.”

Recent developments include patient self-scheduling through the MyChart patient portal, which has allowed more than 12,000 patients to schedule primary care appointments through MyChart since it launched in August, and a new waitlist option that helped more than 250 people get appointments an average of 25 days sooner in the first month of use. 

“The MyChart patient portal is powered by Epic and provides patients with a wealth of information that will help them manage their health and their care,” said Sapra. “Patients may view records of their visits, lab and imaging results, vitals, request prescription refills and much more. There is always some new, helpful feature in MyChart.” 

If you don’t have a MyChart account, sign up today for access to your convenient and secure online patient portal.